Just this week, I was so thankful to convince 2 individuals to say goodbye to their choke chain and convert to a force-free training method. One individual mentioned that she always felt so bad when she used it but that’s how they used to train “back in the day”. She had a good understanding of positive reinforcement training but she was using a “balanced” training method that she felt that she didn’t truly understand. It was just how she was taught. After discussing the “Principles of Dog Training” (a handout given to all clients) she understand the concepts and science behind the training method. I was so proud when she pulled out a front-clip harness that she never used but was given and I was about to show her an effective training method that is science-based, force-free, and allows her relationship to grow based on mutual respect, not fear or pain.
Although aversives are effective, there have been studies that show positive reinforcement training is more effective, (compared to aversives) lessens the risk of the handler being bitten, and reduces the likelihood that the dog with become fearful, aggressive, or display defensive behaviors. Converting from these methods are important for your dog’s emotional and psychological health.
This is a snippit of the film “Dogs, Cats, and Scapegoats”. Check it out!